So — what's the big deal about identity? What's the hubbub about this whole "your identity is in Christ" thing? Why does Because I'm His put so much emphasis on belonging to God and being His? Aren't I my own woman? Isn't it biblical to be independent and strong?
We get it. We hear you — and you know what? We are so stinkin' glad you asked.
Let's role play for a second, shall we? Let's pretend you're at a friend's house. Picture you and your bestie cozied up on her couch, big, warm mugs in your hand. Repeats of your favorite Netflix series are playing softly in the background. There's an empty, oil-stained pizza box open on the coffee table and the two of you are sharing a blanket but you're both only covering you're feet.
As you're catching up on life and love and all things girl-talk, your friend interrupts you.
"Oh! Before I forget! I invited Lily over. You know the new girl from work I was telling you about last week? She said she'd be here around 3."
You're instantly excited because you truly can't wait to meet Lily. You've heard great things about her and your friend was telling you how she thought the two of you would get along so well. You turn back to your mugs and your conversation and just as you get settled back into the flow, there's a knock at the door.
"Come in," your friend shouts. "We're in the living room. Through the kitchen!"
Within a few seconds, there's Lily. She's carrying a plastic grocery bag and you can see the top of a bottle of champagne sticking out. I like this girl already, you think. Your friend stands up to take the bag from Lily and you get up too. You stick out your hand, smile and say:
"Hi! I'm Ellie. I'm Nora's friend from high school. It's so nice to meet you."
Did you hear it?
Did you hear the qualifier of who you were in the way you introduced yourself? You're Ellie. You're Nora's friend from high school. And that's how Lily now knows you.
You see, identity is wrapped up in more things than we care to think.
We identify ourselves on almost every form we fill out ever. By gender. By age. By occupation. By marital status.
We identify ourselves on the day-to-day when we introduce ourselves to people (like Lily) and when we interact with people on the simplest of levels.
We identify ourselves in our heads. When we assume we can or cannot complete a task. When we see a girl who wears a dress better than we do. When we say, "I could never pull that dress off."
We identify ourselves in our heads — when we think, "I am not experienced enough for that job," or "I am not pretty enough for that guy to talk to me."
Now, hear us out: We are not suggesting we go around saying, "Hi! I'm Ellie and I am a child of God!" or write in "God's Child" every time a form asks you to identify your ethnicity.
But we are suggesting that the identity conversation (and our take on our identities) is more prevalent than most of us are aware of.
If we're honest, most of us have a negative view of our identities. Even if we're pretty positive women with generally high self-esteems — there are still parts of our souls that invite us to believe the absolute worst about our selves.
We believe because we slept with someone who wasn't our husband when we were 16, we are not worthy of a Godly husband.
We believe that because we didn't get into the university that we really wanted to go to, we are incapable of landing our dream job.
We believe that because we were selfish children and mean girls in high school, we will be awful wives and unfit mothers.
We believe that because we haven't had a second date in over a year, something is wrong with us.
We must be too much. We must be not enough.
Our beliefs about our true identity reveal the core beliefs about who we are, what we're capable of, and what we're designed for.
So when we believe we are no good or too far gone or not smart enough or not thin enough? We count ourselves out before the game even starts.
Identity? It's huge. And when we misplace our identities in things, in people or in labels -- we risk much more than a bad day or cry-fest when the you-know-what hits the fan. We risk missing out on the abundant life God intended for us.
How do you perceive yourself?
How are you "talking to yourself" in your head?
What truths and what lies are you feeding to yourself over and over again about your identity?
What are you doing or not doing because of who you believe you are?